On Wednesday afternoon Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled his latest Budget to the House of Commons. Here is an at-a-glance guide:
Economy & forecasts
- Inflation in September was 3.1% and is likely to rise to average 4% over next year, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.
- UK economy forecast to return to pre-COVID levels by 2022.
- Annual growth set to rebound by 6.5% this year, followed by 6% in 2022.
- Unemployment expected to peak at 5.2% next year, lower than 11.9% previously predicted.
- Wages have grown in real terms by 3.4% since February 2020.
- Borrowing as a percentage of GDP is forecast to fall from 7.9% this year to 3.3% next year.
- Borrowing as a percentage of GDP will then fall in the following four years to 1.5%.
- Foreign aid spending projected to return to 0.7% of GDP by 2024-25.
Spending & taxation
- Whitehall departments to receive rise in overall spending, totalling £150bn over the course of this Parliament.
- Universal Credit taper rate will be cut by 8% no later than 1 December, bringing it down from 63% to 55%.
- Funding will rise by an average of £4.6bn for the the Scottish Government, £2.5bn for the Welsh Government, and £1.6bn for the Northern Ireland Executive.
- Levelling Up Fund will mean £1.7bn will be invested in local areas across the UK.
- Government backing projects across the UK including £2m for a new waterfront Beatles attraction in Liverpool.
- Extra £2.2bn for courts, prisons and probation services.
- Tax relief for museums and galleries will be extended for two years, to March 2024
- Core science funding to rise to £5.9bn a year by 2024-25.
- Business rates retained and reformed.
- New 50% business rates discount will apply in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, up to a maximum of £110,000.
- Planned rise in fuel duty to be cancelled amid the highest pump prices in eight years.
- £24bn earmarked for housing: £11.5bn for up to 180,000 affordable homes, with brownfield sites targeted for development.
- A 4% levy will be placed on property developers with profits over £25m rate to help create a £5bn fund to remove unsafe cladding.
- Flights between airports in the UK nations will be subject to a new lower rate of Air Passenger Duty from April 2023.
- Financial support for English airports to be extended for a further six months.
- A new ultra long haul band in Air Passenger Duty for flights of over 5,500 miles will be introduced from April 2023.
- Planned rise in the duty on spirits, wine, cider and beer will be cancelled.
- Simplification of alcohol duties will see the number of rates drop from 15 to six.
- Stronger red wines, fortified wines, and high-strength ciders will see a small increase in their rates.
- Rates on many lower alcohol drinks including rose wine, fruit ciders, liqueurs, lower strength beers and wines to fall.
- All sparkling wines to pay same duty as still wines of equivalent strength.
- New, lower rate of duty on draught beer and cider will cut the rates by 5%.
- Schools to get an extra £4.7bn by 2024-25.
- There will be nearly £2bn of new funding to help schools and colleges to recover from the pandemic.
- Schools funding to return to 2010 levels in real terms – an equivalent per pupil cash increase of more than £1,500.
- £300m will be spent on a “Start for Life” parenting programmes, with an additional £170m by 2024-25 promised for childcare.
- A UK-wide numeracy programme will be set-up to help improve basic maths skills among adults.